Like a good Jewish boy, Brad Ausmus said to his Bubbie, “Bubbie, I love sulfites, nitrates and pig a**holes, but every time I see a Nathan’s, I get the runs. Bubbie, do you have a remedy?” His Bubbie lowered her knitting and said, “You need to get a goddamn decent closer!” And so it was done. Unfortunately, due to being wracked with guilt (or possibly due to a rather hard knock on the head), Ausmus couldn’t pull the trigger and said Nathan will remain the closer. Oh. WHAT?! The Rangers traded Joakim Soria to the Tigers because Joe Nathan is making Detroit look even lousier. I can’t imagine Soria remains the set-up man for very long, since Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and has looked completely lost for the better part of the season. For now, I’d hold both of them. Over in Texas, I have a rooting interest in Neal Cotts getting saves, because I own him and not Neftali Feliz. If I had my druthers, and knew what the hell druthers were — hmm, maybe then I do have druthers — I would grab Neftali first. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had a hard time trying to come up with a Creeper of the Week for a week that only has three games and no rotations announced. So in a moment of scotch fueled clarity, I decided to create my own All-Star team. I’m going to highlight some of my favorite Creepers of the “not a real half first half”. There is only one voter, myself, and like any list, there will be bias. Hey, it’s my list and the winners are very obvious. It’s not like if I was to rank some of my favorite movies or songs, then I’m sure we could really get into a discussion. Oooooooh that sounds fun! I’m going to throw some out for you. For my favorite movie, it’s Goodfellas and Apocalypse Now (both these clips are NSFW). The movie in third is a tie of about 20 flicks that all make a strong case. For music, I’m not going to make it easy on you. Here is my top three non-corporate underground independent soul songs of the last 5 years. 1) Lee Fields & The Expressions – You’re the Kind of Girl 2) Charles Bradley – The World (Is Going Up In Flames) 3) Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics – My Dear. Do you have any? Actually, the story of Charles Bradley is a really interesting tale of “it’s never too late”. They even made a documentary movie about him. I highly recommend clicking on that link. Have you done it yet? Okay, good, then let’s move on to my all star team… countdown style!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Money means time. Time is money. I don’t got much of either today, so I’m skipping the silly intro part that I’m convinced no one reads anyway. Don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt; I’m what you call a constitutionally strong person. That’s the opposite of a constitutional weakling, you know, the guy who has his night ruined after you tell him his shirt collar has been flipped up the whole time, and the next thing you know, your friendship is on the rocks and you’re sitting on a couch across from Steve Harvey talking about it. That won’t happen with me.

So, as Captain Tenneal would say, LET’S GO!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

My favorite move clubs make is the manager says so-and-so is the closer, but then use someone else and that other player becomes the closer. A close second is when they say so-and-so pitcher just didn’t have his best stuff, then roll him out there one more time, watch him get rocked and then say he has a broken elbow. But my third favorite club move is when they hold a rookie back for some arbitrary arbitration day. Everyone knows it’s arbitrary, but it’s done because clubs are cheap and want to hold the rights. Super Two, stupid two. Amiright? But there’s one move clubs do that you don’t see that often that might be crazier. Calling up a prospect — Oscar Taveras — right before his Super Two status changes. That’s crazy like a fox! Three weeks ago, Cards GM said, “I know a lot’s being made out of Oscar … coming to St. Louis, but right now I don’t even think it’s a logical thing to do.” I get that Fatt Adams just hit the DL, but wouldn’t you wait just a few more days at this point? Bizzonkers, but it’s the kind of crazy I can get behind because it brings with it one of the best — if not the best — prospect in the majors. Here’s what I’ve said previously about him, “From what I’ve heard (read), Taveras’s biggest strike against him is he doesn’t see any strikes — turn of a phrase point! He’s being compared to Vladimir Guerrero without having knees like Mama from Mama’s Family. Taveras swings and hits everything. Also, like Vlad, his swing is long, unwieldy and it looks like he could swing at pitches above his head and in the dirt on two consecutive pitches. (Google video of Oscar Taveras if you don’t believe me; what, you don’t believe me? My feelings are hurt.) What wasn’t mentioned, his stats also look like a young Vlad. I will call you, Vladimir Guerrerito. He can hit for power and steal bases. At twenty years old, he hit 23 homers in 477 ABs with 11 steals in Double-A in 2012, his last full year of minor league ball.” And that’s me quoting me! Later on in my Oscar Taveras article from November, I gave him this line 42/10/32/.288/8 for this year if he were to be called up in June. Still sounds about right. Basically, A.J. Pollock, but there’s a chance here for huge upside, so he’s ownable in every league. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I feel I need to have a moment of honesty with you all. It’s been a tough go of late. Don’t worry, I don’t need to be institutionalized (note the sweet Pirates hat in the video). I think I need to retire the Hit of the Week. I messed with the Razzball gods, and have been burned by the flames that surround that animated baseball. I’m a creepy guy who should stick to writing about Creeper’s. That is what the universe wants and that’s what it gets. Don’t get me wrong, unfortunate managerial decisions have killed some of my calls. Cameron Maybin got benched for three games that week in favor of Quentin! *shakes fist* Kole Calhoun was sucked into the abyss of the Sciosciapath’s path. I really wanted to suggest C.J. Cron this week, but I fear the folly of Big Mike and his managerial circus. Maybe Jack Clark and Chili Davis should of hit him harder? Last week Mitch Moreland did a lite version of the Full Loney, a Cuarenta Uno? I would of been happy with a Forty Twenty all week from him. Thanks for the new term OTS! What am I to do? My “others to consider” have actually done better than my main calls. Mark Reynolds, Chris Carter and Kolten Wong all out hit Mitch Moreland this week, and the week before, Garrett Jones and Adam Dunn both killed it, while Kole Calhoun sucked it. So you can take this one of two ways. Either only pay attention to the others under consideration because they will be useful, while the focus player won’t, or there is no other choice. I’m kidding, this isn’t a perfect science. In one of my leagues, the FCL, the quality batty calls are amazing. Those dudes are on fire with their adds *tips cap*. Speaking of the FCL, I would like to send a shout out to my new favorite commenter de Nachos. Dude looks like Brett Favre, owns a fungo bat, bought a championship belt for our league, and got a concussion the other day. I lit a prayer candle for you homeboy…..Life’s a risk, carnal!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Nolan Arenado left last night’s game with a left mallet finger fracture. Despite how it sounds, he suffered the injury sliding head first into second base, and not from a giant sledge hammer. That’s a broken middle finger for the laymans. The team is saying Arenado could be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, but likely more if he opts for surgery. Oh Nolan, you could really use that middle finger right about now. Arenado has been every bit the dream Coors third baseman we all thought he could be this year, triple slashing a mean .305/.333/.489, with six home runs and 28 RBI. This is just bad news. The good news? Razzball favorite and general disappointment to fantasy owners, Josh Rutledge will be called up to replace Arenado on the roster. I like to think anyone playing in Colorado is worth a look and JR is no exception, especially if you’re hurting at the hot corner. Rutledge did well in limited time with the Rockies in April, batting .318 with a home run in 22 ABs. He played 88 games in 2013, but struggled to hit for average despite flashing some speed and power, and was eventually sent down. In 12 team leagues, I might hold off on grabbing Rutledge until he shows us something, but I’ll be watching him as intensely as the last three episodes of Breaking Bad. Here’s hoping he can fill the Nolan Arenado-sized hole in our hearts until that finger fully heals.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cameron Maybin has been one of the most frustrating and intriguing players to watch over the last eight years. After flying through Detroit’s system just under two years, he made his first appearance in 2007 with lackluster results. Following that 2007 season, he was the centerpiece, along with Andrew Miller, in the Miguel Cabrera deal between the Marlins and the Tigers. He opened the 2008 season with the Marlins AA team and put together his best season to date, when in 459 AB’s, he gave us a line of 73/13/49/21/.277. He followed that with a September call up where he stole 4 bags and scored 9 runs in 32 PA’s. I remember being disappointed in 2009, when after that great call-up, he was set to start the year in AAA and we all had to wait to add him when he got the call. At the time I didn’t know SAGNOF yet, but I was playing it. Always searching for the cheap SB’s or anyone playing against Chris Young when he was on the Padres. For those that forgot, in 2006 and 2007, Chris Young gave up 41 and 44 SB’s respectively, which averaged out to about one every four innings. YIKES! Sorry, back to Maybin. After that, it was just one long roller coaster of solid minor league performance followed by MLB disappointment until a trade that put him in a San Diego uniform, with a chance to start over.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Saturday, Jon Lester threw a gem: 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 15 Ks. Such a gem that if that were a blood diamond, diplomats from Monrovia would be lined up in the streets of Liberia for a taste of that. If that were an emerald, friends of Dorothy would stand outside of Ricky Martin’s hotel for weeks just for the chance he forgoes the hotel buffet and wants to eat out. If that were a ruby, it would stand outside a Dallas police station to cover any possible conspiracies and add fuel to other conspiracies. Lester has pitched spectacularly so far, and it’s not a product of luck. His 10.7 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 are elite. Those are fantasy ace numbers. His fastball doesn’t have renewed life, if anything he’s lost something on it. What appears to be the biggest difference is he’s almost completely abandoned his changeup and throwing his cutter a bit more. Since he’s always been good for 200 innings and has had huge success before, I’m willing to say he will hold the improvements to his rates and be an extremely reliable starter. Likely in the top 15 for the year. Yeah, he looks damn good. I want some, purdy puhlease. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy early Cinco de Mayo, my tequila-fueled Razzaholics, and welcome back to the Razzball Lounge. We men of letters have donned our sombreros and gathered to celebrate whatever the hell Cinco de Mayo is – hey, I went to a school for dysfunctional teachers in Maine and the only Mexicans we ever saw were picking blueberries and turning John Deere’s into lowriders. We are also celebrating the Razzball revolucian! Yes, Razzball Radio launches this week with Señor Nick, who is currently transporting illegal video equipment across the border as we speak. Good stuff! As we gather in the lounge downing shots of Patron we look back at the first month of the season. There have been hot starts from new meat – Jose Abreu, Charlie Blackmon and Chris Colabello. There have been early season slumps – Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Adam Jones. And every team is battered and broken with Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Chris Davis and 422 other players on the disabled list. There’s plenty to celebrate and plenty to berate in the lounge today. Bellying up to the bar we find Sky wondering why he drafted a team that is completely on the disabled list. “Hey, at least Nick Punto is healthy!” *throws up on floor* At the jukebox we find Jay Wrong playing “Mexican Radio” for the 23rd time. “I’m on a Mexican radio, whoa! I just picked up  Bobby LaFromboise on waivers!” *bottle smashes above head* New to the Razzball Lounge is stat-boy Dano and his big book of facts who we have strung up from the ceiling for some human piñata-style hazing. “Did you fellas know Babe Ruth’s career wOBA was .510?” *WHACK!* Coming out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict clad in just his Sears poncho. “Hey, guys I’ve set up a cock fight out back.”  Tehol, where are the roosters? “Whaddya mean roosters?” And here at the pool table is your-humble-but-nontheless-guapo Guru. *adjusts turban, closes eye, aims cue, banks eight-ball off three rails, licks salt, downs tequila, sucks lime,* Viva la Jam or Cram!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Marcus Stroman has a slide piece that would make John Popper jealous. Last year, he was just as dominating, so it’s not like this came out of nowhere. Well, last year after he returned from his suspension for testing positive for methylhexaneamine. Did you know that no one connected to the commissioner’s office was able to pronounce what he was suspended for nor anyone directly connected to Stroman? His grandma said, “My grandy-son was suspended for menthol cigarettes?” A coach familiar with Stroman said, “It was really frustrating when people kept asking, ‘What’s he suspended for?’ After a while, when people asked during his suspension where Stroman was, we’d just say he was in the bathroom. No one wanted to try to pronounce the drug he was banned for.” Last week, he threw six no-hit innings. Here’s what Prospect Scott said in the offseason, “The 22-year-old made 20 Double-A starts on the season, posting a 3.30 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and K/9 at 10.4. Those of you who read my posts throughout the regular season know that I’m intrigued by Stroman — he brings a fastball/slider combo that’s as good as any in the minors, and that skill set makes for some exciting performances (he whiffed 11+ batters in four of his 20 starts). Stroman was probably ready for a big league look this past September, but the Jays opted to send him to the Arizona Fall League instead. Big time whiff potential will make him a coveted piece in the fantasy game as soon as he surfaces. Speaking of faces, I hate Grey’s.” Hey! The Jays will be finished with McGowan in the landmark case of sooner vs. later, as well they should be. Stroman could be up any day now, Annie Potts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?